Peas over nuts [Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars]

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious: A one-bowl vegan and protein bar reminiscent of  a slice of soft vanilla cake. Free from gluten, refined sugars or weird additives.

Protein Bars 8

Chances are that if you’ve been around the blog world for any time yet you’ll have noticed two trends: 1) a fondness of bars and 2) protein as many bloggers’ favourite macronutrient.  Me, however? That’s where I’m not like your average blogger. I’m not fond of bars in general [at this point I expect some people gasping for breath in shock]. Me and protein bars?  Much less. I’ve always considered these a) exclusive to body builders or b) anybody doing strength training. The way I see it I don’t fall in either category. Unless you’d count lugging around [way too] heavy bags every day weight-lifting. Hmmm …

Protein bar

Which didn’t bug me much because the protein bars available at stores around here are nasty. The only one I ever bought years ago – I can actually recall the time, brand and flavour of the bar – wasn’t awful in terms of taste. But it was a candy bar disguised as a healthy snack.  The ingredient list: Sugar. Sugar.  More sugar. Oh, and some protein. Processed soy-derived. Aren’t you getting hungry reading that?!

Protein Bars 1

These? Are the opposite. Granted, that other bar won the award for appearance – how hard is it with a thick chocolate?! coating – but we already know it’s the inner values that count.  Protein not only from the powder but the peanut flour and even in the chickpeas, too. A funny story or realization about those: I had my mind set on using salted peanuts here. -But-: you haven’t seen my overflowing cupboards yet. No unneccessary purchases for me.

Protein bars 3

So I went for the closest sub and – chickpeas. Before you turn up your nose or click away: Think about it. Chickpeas are legumes – as are peanuts.  There isn’t much of a difference with that in mind. Clearly a case where peas [won] over nuts. And I’m nuts about those peas – my stash is dwindling by the day. If you’re still doubtful just let me tell you about the great texture and crunch they add to these bars …

Protein bars 4_neu

A realization and my only regret about this recipe is my habit of preparing small batches. The one I prepared Saturday was meant to last me for the week. Yet there I was whipping up another pan a day later. I’m officially addicted. But it’s a good one.

Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars [about four generously-sized bars or more smaller ones]

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (20 g) [I used SunWarrior]
  • 1/8 cup peanut flour [15 g]
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour [15 g]
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon + additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1/8 cup NuNaturals oat fibre OR psyllium husks* [15 g] OR oat bran*
  • a pinch of salt [generous for me and any other fans of sweet-and-salty combinations]
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup (could sub agave or honey)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dry-roasted salted chickpeas [20 g]
  • about 1/2 cup non-dairy milk [I used coconut]
  • 1/4 cup dried mulberries
  • Optional [but actually mandatory] raw or 99% dark chocolate, chopped**

 

  1. Combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Stir in milk and syrup to combine.  You’ll want to reach a slightly drier cookie dough texture.
  3. Put the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish and press down firmly.
  4. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the top feels firm but not dried out.
  5. Take out of the oven and dust the top with additional cinnamon inmediately.
  6. Let cool before slicing into bars. These keep best in the fridge.

Notes:

* These are gluten-free if using either psyllium husk or gluten-free oat bran. The texture is most cake-like with the oat fibre but still fine elsewise.

** This will add some sugar so omit if opting to stay all sugar-free.

Protein bars 2

One more note on the Simply Syrup in this recipe: it’s a new product by NuNaturals and this was my first time trying it. There may or may not be a giveaway coming up soon …

Because everybody – now even me – likes protein, bars and protein bars I’m sharing these with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: An e-mail from a friend I hadn’t heard of in a while.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What’s your favourite kind of protein bar?

Chickpeas instead of nuts: Strange or awesome?

Have you made your own protein bars before?

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Breakfast experiments [Vanilla Pear Protein Bread Pudding]

Deliciously hearty whole-grain bread and sweet pears in a creamy vanilla cinnamon sauce with a protein punch. All topped with fresh raspberries for a breakfast delight on a Sunday morning – or any day.

Bread pudding_close

Sundays are for sleeping in. For curling up in bed with a good book. For having a leisurely breakfast. All of these happened for me yesterday and the latter resulted in a new recipe.  Not only in an effort to make good use of the extra time and to keep things interesting but also to figure out which diet works best for me, I got creative in the kitchen. If you’ve been reading health and fitness magazines, blogs or websites for any time you’ll have come across many different claims. Some say you should load up on carbs at breakfast, others recommend protein for a satisfying meal to keep you going for hours. Not one to judge before I’ve walked in those shoes myself – or should I say: before I’ve eaten a few spoonfuls of this, a few of that 😉 ?! – I decided to go the high[er] protein route yesterday.

Pudding_II

It’s been a while since I had sweet bread pudding but for some reason it felt like a Sunday-worthy dish to try. Bread pudding is one of those recipes that seem really involved, maybe even intimidating when they actually just require washing a few more dishes.

Pudding

In the end, I’ve found it’s highly individual and – at least for me – even depends on the very day. With all that in mind, I’ve been changing up my meals more than I used to before lately. It’s always a game of trial and error – but a delicious fame at that for the most part. This time it was vanilla-licious. And pear-licious because I’ve been on a serious pear kick these past weeks.

bread pudding_spoonful

Vanilla Pear Protein Bread Pudding

  • 1 slice of stale* whole grain bread [preferably with lots of seeds for the extra heartiness], cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 of a small pear, chopped
  • 1/2 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder [I used SunWarrior Blend]
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • a scant 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup [optional, depending on how sweet you like it]
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • fresh raspberries
  1. 1. Add the silken tofu, protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon and maple syrup in a bowl. Blend until smooth.
  2. 2. Combine the bread and pear cubes in a small casserole dish.
  3. 3. Pour the silken tofu mixture on top and smooth it out making sure to coat all bread pieces.
  4. 4.  Bake in the preheated oven at 320 °F for about 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Top with fresh raspberries, almond butter or any other toppings your heart desires.

* I left my bread out on the counter overnight to let it get stale. If yours is fresh just toast it and proceed with the recipe.

On a random note it was actually via Katie’s blog that I heard of SunWarrior for one of the first times. So thank you, Katie, not just for hosting our marvelous Monday celebration but inspiring some protein creations [to come], too!

While I’m personally as of yet undecided whether or not high-protein is the way to go for me at breakfast I know Laura and Kierston like themselves some protein-packed meals. I’m also linking up with Healthy Vegan Fridays and Wellness Weekends.

MiMM_new

Happiness inducing today: Spotting the blog of a [real life] friend in Bloglovin’s top picks for the week.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Your turn: Sundays are for …

Do you have a go-to breakfast that keeps you going for hours or switch it up regularly?

Breakfast in general: sweet or savoury?